On 6 November 2017, at the Organization’s Headquarters, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the President of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Thomas R. Carter, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the two institutions in the context of the International Jazz Day, held annually since 2012.
“The spirit of jazz, and its ability to bring people together from all parts of the world and from all walks of life, is unique”, said the Director-General. “The several successful editions of the International Jazz Day strongly testify to the power of this art as a language that speaks to every culture, across generations, joining them together around shared values of respect, understanding and creativity”, added Ms Bokova. “UNESCO has been extremely proud to cooperate with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, to promote common values of tolerance, respect for human rights and social inclusion, and we are glad to be able to deepen our partnership and make it sustainable”, stated Irina Bokova.
“The cooperation existing since 2011 with UNESCO is very dear to us all at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz”, said Mr Carter. “We are looking forward to consolidating further our fruitful alliance, which emphasizes the exceptional power of jazz in all regions of the world, with annual celebrations held at UNESCO, at the United Nations, in the United States of America, Japan, Turkey, France, Cuba, and, for the years to come, in the Russian Federation and Australia”, added the President of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. “We need to keep this remarkable momentum, and I am very encouraged by the signature of this MoU that offers a perfectly-relevant setting to this end”, concluded Mr Carter.
Late 2011, UNESCO designated 30 April as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people. International Jazz Day is pioneered by the Director-General of UNESCO and by Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue. This major event brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, and reinforce international cooperation.